Minimalism is all about uncluttering and paring down to the essentials, yet there is no need to adopt a black-and-white attitude to consider yourself a simplist.
Welcome a little hygge into your life and uncluttering will be a pleasurable experience rather than a decluttering chore that needs to be repeated on a frequent basis.
What is hygge and what does it have to do with enjoying an uncluttered life?
Hygge is a Danish word that embraces the complexity of both feelings and experiences in real time. It acknowledges that moment when you are absolutely present and you are happily satisfied with your existence in the world.
In essence, hygge is a cozy sort of minimalism with a wonderful aspect of simplicity! It helps us create a relaxing atmosphere where we can enjoy the company of others, at the same time it is that pivotal moment, when we are alone with a hot drink and we know that our life is headed in the right direction.
How can you go about to unclutter your living room?
For starters, take a good look around your living room. Are there areas where clutter gets piled up? On the sofa? Or the coffee table? Is your bookshelf stuffed with books you have never read? Are there toys on the floor that should be put away in the kids room?
Do you have so much stuff, that you have no idea where to even start to get rid of it?
Remember that you are not alone in having too much stuff. Most of us are inundated with abundant things in our homes and in our lives – most of it that we do not use or need.
There are many ways to go about uncluttering:
- Room by room
- Box by box
- Hour by hour
- 15 min at a time
So, when you come to the realization that your living space is no longer as comfortable and as cozy as it used to be, begin to unclutter your living room to open up the space and relieve yourself from the unwanted anxiety of living with the “gifts” of others. Consider for a moment that we all carry energy around with us, and for better or worse, it attaches to all that we touch and spend time with. Your emotions are part of you, they are part of your home and they are visible to others. If your home is cluttered, it may be a subtle warning that your life is cluttered too, so take time to make sure that you are giving attention to whom and where it is needed via the uncluttering process.
But, back to the living room. It should be a space for relaxing and hosting guests (yes, you should have a party once in a while!) and it should be a place of refuge from your busy day.
Anything unnecessary to aid your relaxation should be removed immediately.
Get rid of your television, so that you are not informed of the latest danger, or the newest pharmaceutical that you must try for this inflammation or that digestive disorder. Rather than watching a screen for entertainment, try and amuse yourself as well as your family members and friends. Screen time is a big issue nowadays – screens linger around in small versions (smart phones), to medium size (tablets), to laptops and larger. Limit your time on them, so that you can experience real life, not virtual reality.
Unclutter your walls. Limit the amount of pictures and artwork on your walls. No need to focus on the numbers, keep only what is aesthetically pleasing to you.
Unclutter your furniture. A couch, if it fits, a couple of comfy chairs, a small table for hot and cold drinks. It doesn’t take much to fill a room, so be careful not to overdo it. Sometimes we hold onto furniture for sentimental reasons, even if it doesn’t fit our style. Find a hygge balance between the two if you are struggling with the thought that you should keep it all. What feels good for you? Don’t fall into the trap of keeping things, and displaying them, for the sake of others.
Unclutter your bookshelf. Books are made to be read, perhaps, looking deeper, they are transient journeys that have a definite end and maybe, just maybe,
they should be treated as such. Rather than hold onto the memory of a book that you just read, and are unlikely to ever pick up and flip through the pages again, pass the book on to another person. Leave it at a laundromat, take it to a charity shop, donate it to a school or shelter, recycle it if you believe that it is not worth much at all.
There is no need to keep everything that you receive as a gift, or even that you have bought for yourself at one time or another. Your tastes change, even your perception of minimalism changes over time – so how much is enough? That’s the question that gets asked most often.
And the answer is constantly evolving. There is no right answer, there is only your answer.
I will let you in on a little secret though… More space = more freedom. So the more you can unclutter your living room, and every room in your house, the more you will find time for spontaneous laughter, enlivening conversation, the space for play and overall happiness.
It is not our things, or abundant stuff that makes us who we are. It is our experiences in life that help us decide where our future will take us. With less stuff we are free to see and to evolve in the world.
Life truly begins with an uncluttered house.